Repurposed Antique Medicine Cabinet

June 14, 2011

We recently began renovating the one (yes, one!) bathroom in our 1890s farm house. It is singular, yes, but what our home lacks in quantity of bathrooms, it more than makes up for in size!!! It’s downright huge…as in we could easily add a queen size bed to the center of the bathroom with enough room to walk around comfortably. You know, if ever there were need for a bed in the bathroom…  Anyway. We removed the old sink and 1980s medicine cabinet from the small part of our bath which houses the toilet. We replaced the terrible industrial-looking sink with a pretty pedestal one, but there was left a gaping hole where the medicine cabinet once was.

Original Cabinet.

Well, one of my favorite stores is in the tiny town of Nappanee, IN, where I live. They’re only open once a month, but I always find my best deals there. It just so happens last month I located an antique medicine cabinet. It was the perfect size and just waiting to be rescued. Even better, it was marked down from $35 (a good deal, but still enough to make my husband scoff) to $15!!! No scoffing allowed at that price! So we took her home and began the process of giving her a new life.

Repurposed furnitureThis was a simple repurpose. We scraped off some of the old paint chips, the ones that would flake off easily, but kept the others. I also did not sand the glossy paint that was on the interior of the piece, as I wanted the effect of that paint beneath the white I painted it. The box for the cabinet itself is solid lapboard, so it has great, natural creases. I painted the entire front and interior with an antique white. Once it dried, I scraped the edges and corners with a metal paint scraper to remove some of the fresh white paint. I also removed some of the paint in the exterior to allow the glossy tan to show through, and did the same over the old paint chips on the front. It offers a lot of depth and interest to the piece.

After hanging it with cabinet screws, the antique medicine cabinet was ready to fill. It looks like it has been there all its life. I think it may have found ‘HOME’ again!


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